The Lovers of Azkaban
Disclaimer: None of the Characters from Harry Potter belong to me, they belong to JK Rowling.
Summary: Slash Harry/Draco. Sent to Azkaban together, the pair finds themselves immersed in the Adventure of their lives and in something else completely unexpected...
Chapter One: The Small Cell
Harry hadn't trusted Draco one bit, even though the Slytherin had recanted and joined the Order in the midst of the war. Draco had taken on the role of double agent, spying for the Order while gaining Voldemort's confidence.
However, Draco had been Harry's only known ally when he had at last caught up with the constantly mobile Dark Lord. Both Voldemort and Harry had been obligated to place their trust in the Slytherin. But where Voldemort had faith, Harry had grave doubt.
Draco never once acknowledged Harry when he appeared in the cavern; he acted as shocked and surprised as Voldemort and the other death eaters when the green eyed boy appeared, seemingly out of no where, within the cavern serving as Voldemort's headquarters.
Voldemort was surprised, but he was also ready for Harry; he was always ready.
Things might have turned out differently if Draco had not immediately acted. Without once glancing in Harry's direction, Draco was able to create a vulnerable situation for Voldemort. The momentary distraction worked to stall a surge of spells that surely would have flown from the wands of the death eaters. It was enough time for Voldemort to gain control of the situation and ensure that he fought alone with his 'victim'. Some might say that that egocentric decision was the gravest error the Dark Lord would ever make.
In the aftermath of Voldemort's death, Harry's eyes fell upon Draco. Their eyes locked and only then did Harry truly believe that Draco's allegiance to the Order was sincere. They had even smiled at one another – briefly.
Then it happened. They went outside to find the minister of magic approaching. However, he was not alone; he was surrounded by a rather large group of people, the majority of which Harry and Draco recognized as death eaters. The pair had held their wands against the group and the Minister spoke up at once, loudly proclaiming that those with him were on the good side.
Harry and Draco hesitated, however, a sudden surge of spells, deadly spells, aimed at the pair rapidly diminished their belief in the Minister's words. Fearing for their lives and without an alternative, Harry and Draco reflexively struck out.
The full breadth of Harry's power was largely unknown, but within seconds all of those who had approached Harry and Draco lay still on the ground before them.
That is when members of the Order and Ministry officials had begun to arrive. It was the moment that spelled the beginning of the end for both Draco and Harry.
In a highly unusual and brief, private trial, they were condemned and their wands confiscated. They were sent to Azkaban for their crimes, at the same time they were being lauded as heroes by a confused wizard word. Shortly thereafter they were taken to an abandoned structure, far from the other prisoners within Azkaban and thrust together in a small cell.
Their fate was to spend three years together cooped up in the small, detached space before gaining the solo cells where they would spend the rest of their lives. The sentencing judges officiating over their trial had known from experience the possible outcome of such an arrangement; generally it ended in the death of one or both of the prisoners. The cooped up environment always eventually took its toll on the prisoners, setting them against one another.
Harry and Draco had a grudging trust for one another, but their relationship was unhealthy. They had been enemies too long to allow a moment in time to change all of that. While enemies they could no longer be, forced by circumstance; they were certainly not friends.
The cell simply wasn't big enough for the both of them, as the judges had known it would not be. Harry and Draco treated one another with reserve the first three days; barely speaking and then only superficially about the war and its culmination. On the fourth day, a stilted conversation between them took an ugly turn when Harry intimated that Draco should have recanted earlier than he had. Harry blithely exclaimed that many lives could have been saved if Draco had merely had the guts to do the right thing sooner.
Pent up frustration found an outlet in Draco's immediate anger and he leapt forward at the words, striking the Gryffindor. They took their suppressed emotions out on one another; fighting with only war strengthened muscles. It is possible they would have continued to fight until one of them lay dead, but in the midst of the skirmish, a shove from Harry caused Draco's head to slam against the hard stone wall and the Slytherin passed out. Both were left with nasty wounds; Draco somewhat the worse for wear due to his light head injury.
They had completely demolished the cell during their fight. Harry's bed was a bed no more, but a simple pile of sticks. The small table and the two small wooden chairs that had stood in the center of the cell had been reduced to shards and were scattered about the floor.
That evening the two young men retired, both still holding marks of the fight. Draco rested on his hard bed under his blanket and Harry rested on the stone floor with his blanket, ripped to shreds, pulled across his shoulders.
They continued in silence for three days under those conditions before an Auror finally led the pair, separately, to clean themselves. They returned to the cell and found the sticks had been removed, but they were still without a table, chairs and a second bed. Harry's shard of a blanket was also gone leaving him to sleep on the stone cold floor uncovered.
It was cold, very cold and Harry suffered the worse for it. Two days of angry silence and freezing periods of sleep on the cold floor finally took its toll on the Gryffindor.
The first time Draco saw Harry begin to shiver in his sleep, he thought it was a nightmare and ignored it. He hadn't had any nightmares as a result of the war and felt little pity for Harry. However, it soon became obvious that Harry was sick. Draco noted that the Gryffindor ate nothing for two days; merely drinking a small amount of the water provided on their food trays.
During those two days, Harry sat along the side of the cell wall, hugging his knees to his body in a seeming state of half wakefulness. When he slept in the evening against the hard floor, curled into a fetal position, the tremors seemed to grow worse and he'd awaken with his body covered in sweat. The sight caused something in Draco's heart to gladden; he began hoping that Harry would die and leave him the cell.
However, on the third day Harry didn't get up; he lay on the floor looking as if he really was going to die. Despite Draco's head telling him it was what he desired, something in his heart began screaming for action.
When the noon meal trays came, Draco called out to the attendant Auror, telling her of Harry's plight, but she seemed to ignore him. He ate, but found himself unable to take his eyes from the tray of untouched food on the floor before him. It would have been Harry's.
Harry continued to shiver and shake and frustrated, Draco moved to where he lay, carrying food from the tray. He force fed the Gryffindor a bit of the drink they had been given and intended to try and force a little food down as well. Draco managed to get about a third of the liquid down the Gryffindor's throat, but it was obvious that food was out of the question.
Harry continued to tremble intermittently and Draco found himself becoming angry. Angry with the Aurors for ignoring them, angry with Harry for getting sick and angry at the resulting general helplessness he felt.
When evening came Draco broke completely; he moved to where the Gryffindor lay shivering and picked him up. It wasn't easy; Harry was like a dead weight in his arms, evidently having passed into a semi-unconscious state. Draco moved Harry to the bed and placed the blanket about his body, hoping that the shivering might stop. If anything, the sight was worse; the entire bed began to shake. Incensed, Draco ran to the cell bars and began yelling for help, but his loud and very long tirade went unanswered.
Draco had no idea what to do; he'd never attempted to care for a sick person – or even an injured person without his wand. He ran his hands over his face and decided that what Harry required was more warmth.
His face resolute, he moved back to the bed and settled himself onto it; pressing his body against Harry's in an attempt to provide warmth. He pulled the blanket tightly around them and felt a tinge of relief when shortly thereafter the shivers began lessening in frequency, and to Draco's mind, in aggressiveness as well.
Draco was somewhat surprised that his idea seemed to be working and hugged Harry's body a little closer into his embrace. His anger had abated; he realized that both of them had misdirected their fury upon one another.
They had been on the same side and shared the same goal; it was the Order and the Ministry that they should be angry with. It still boggled his mind that they had turned a deaf ear to their pleas of innocence. It wasn't entirely strange that they had ignored his protestations, but they had also disregarded those of their supposed hero, and only minutes after he had freed them of Lord Voldemort.
Draco finally managed to drift to sleep, although his hold on Harry remained sure. The next morning, Harry wasn't shivering anymore and the still body in Draco's arms sent a chill down his spine. It seemed as if he were holding a dead man and he quickly released the Gryffindor and jumped from the bed.
He pulled Harry onto his back and quickly pressed his head to the Gryffindor's chest. Relief washed over him when a heartbeat met his ear and he slowly stood up once more.
To Draco's surprise, Harry's eyes suddenly fluttered open. The emerald orbs met his own and stared at him unblinking and without emotion.
'I'm alive,' Harry whispered, breaking the heavy silence about them.
'So you are,' Draco replied.
The Gryffindor still looked a little wane to his eyes, but it was clear that whatever illness had come over him had broken. Draco moved away from the bed and sat on the ground. He pulled up his knees, looped his arms over them and rested his chin against his hands.
'We can share the bed,' he said stiffly.
Harry didn't answer him.
They were going to be in the cell for three years – together, Draco thought wearily. Even if they managed to get along, sharing the small cell was going to be a miserable experience, perhaps even intolerable. The Slytherin felt his eyes begin to sting, but didn't allow the tears to form; such a show of weakness on his part would be equally intolerable to him.
Harry remained in bed until their meal trays were shoved through the cell bars. Draco watched as he slowly arose from the bed and made his way to sit near him, pulling one of the trays into his lap. Draco copied his action, but didn't speak; there seemed to be nothing to say.
Harry indeed felt much better and he was ravenous. He ate too quickly and felt his stomach immediately sicken. It may have been the horrible food, but he thought it was more likely that he had eaten too quickly. He closed his eyes and almost reflexively sent a surge of power toward his own stomach.
The Gryffindor was momentarily surprised when the pain abruptly ceased, but the thought left is head as quickly as it had come; it suddenly dawned on him that he could do something about their plight.
His ability as a wizard had reached its pinnacle during his fight against Lord Voldemort and he was still struggling to understand the full extent of his power. But he knew with a certainty that he could not explain, even to himself, that he could use that power now, here, against those who still had no idea of just how strong he had become.
'I can get us out,' Harry said aloud, his tone distracted and his eyes boring into the food on his tray.
Draco looked up with curiosity in his eyes, 'How?'
'I can open the door and we can go.'
Draco stared. 'Well do it.'
'Not now, when it is safe, I will.' Harry's voice was still emotionless.
Draco resumed eating. He began to think Harry was a bit delusional after his sickness. He had some notion of Harry's power; he had been present at the battle. But this was Azkaban and despite the fact that it was no longer run by Dementors, its walls remained heavily protected by complex spells. Draco was certain those spells were set to counter powerful magic; even the blackest of magic.
Later that evening, when the trays were taken and Azkaban lay quiet and still, Harry turned to Draco. 'Ready?'
Draco raised his brows, barely discernable in the growing darkness. However, he remained silent; there was certainly no harm in Harry making a futile attempt.
He watched as Harry looked at the heavy bars which served as a door to the cell with a fixed gaze. The Gryffindor appeared to slip into a trance; his eyes glazed over and his body was completely still.
The two sat in silence for about four minutes and nothing occurred. Draco was about to remind Harry that Azkaban was a fortress and that many before him had tried and failed to escape when Suddenly the cell bars began to slowly start vibrating.
Draco jumped to his feet and stood staring at the door, his face awash with amazement as the bars gave a sudden shiver and the entire barred cell door popped open.
'Come on' Harry said.
Draco followed Harry, his brain still trying to assimilate what had happened. He watched as Harry turned back toward the cell to close the door.
'How the-' began Draco.
But Harry cut him off, 'come on,' he repeated and began walking rapidly down the small hallway that sat before their cell.
It was as if everyone in Azkaban had died. They were not detained as they made their way through the building and out into the courtyard. No one stopped them as they crossed the large expanse of the courtyard and made their way to the heavy steel gate that sealed in the prisoners. More incredible, at least to Draco, was that they passed by what was clearly an office for the Auror guards without incident.
Harry led them to another gate, larger and heftier still and caused it to swing soundlessly inward. He passed quickly through with Draco on his heels and began walking away from the heavily fortified fortress.
Harry walked quickly, leading them through a dark forest terrain. After perhaps half an hour they reached a shoreline and a great expanse of water stretched out before them.
Draco had been looking worriedly over his shoulder the entire time and when they reached the shore he stopped in amazement. His spirits suddenly soared; he couldn't believe that they had made it as far as they had. It appeared as though they might actually pull off their escape.
Draco watched Harry move into the water and suddenly his spirits sank once more; he couldn't see an opposite shoreline from where they stood. The distance was likely phenomenal and they would likely drown before they made it half way.
Harry had already begun swimming; his strokes pulling him further and further away from where the Slytherin stood watching. The sound of a small creaking sound behind him caused Draco to suddenly jump into action. He raced into the water and began swimming frantically in an attempt to catch up with the Gryffindor.
He'd rather drown than go back to that cell, he thought as he drove his strong arms through the water. He finally caught up with Harry, who appeared to have adopted a leisurely pace as he continued to swim. Draco stopped to tread water for a moment and chanced looking to the shore, but it did not seem that they were being pursued.
The Slytherin began swimming again, matching Harry's strokes; it occurred to him that if Gryffindor had managed to get them this far, he could likely somehow keep them from drowning.
In fact, they did not drown and to Draco's surprise, they arrived at another shore before his tired muscles gave out. The two alighted from the water, breathing heavily, but none the worse for their effort. His confusion at having reached land from an island rumored to be extremely distant from any shoreline fled in the face of another dawning realization. They were free!
Harry turned to Draco, 'we are free,' he began, echoing the Slytherin's thoughts, 'but we are now escapees. You may not use magic or they will find you. Good luck.'
He turned to leave and Draco's momentarily light heart fell back into his wet shoes. He had no idea where he was or where to go and the thought of re-capture was still quite fresh in his mind despite their momentary freedom.
Draco reached out and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, stalling his progress. He dropped his eyes when Harry turned to look at him and his voice when he spoke was barely audible, but violent and terse. 'I can't do it,' he said simply.
Harry understood at once; he'd half expected Draco's reaction, 'fine, come on then.'
Draco followed Harry and they walked about another four hours. Their clothes began drying, but remained damp and although the evening was not terribly cold, both boys shivered intermittently as they moved.
The pair eventually came upon a small deserted looking town. There was only one road dotted with a few buildings on either side of it, all of which appeared to be run down and abandoned.
Harry moved toward a building. It was some type of muggle store. He looked in the window and then turned to whisper at his companion, 'it's empty. We can stay here until morning.'
Draco nodded again, wondering how they would get in. He watched as Harry took hold of his prison robe and jerked it from his body. He wore dirty jeans and a dirty shirt beneath; gifts from Azkaban. He balled the robe about his hand and then socked in one of the windows to the store. The sound was loud against the quiet dark night and Harry grabbed Draco's arm and began running.
Harry moved them behind a hedge and put a finger to his lips, staring at the store. But nothing happened; they waited thirty minutes, but still nothing happened. Harry finally walked from behind the hedge back to the window and Draco followed. The Gryffindor raised himself using the ledge of the window and jumped into the store. Draco did the same, but he cut himself against the remaining broken glass. His arm was bleeding and he noticed with some amusement that it was his dark mark that bled.
Harry threw his robe to Draco, and the Slytherin wrapped it around the wound. Harry moved through the store and then got Draco's attention with his hand and motioned for him to follow.
Draco didn't speak; he knew they couldn't risk it. Harry led him to a door that had a flight of stairs beyond it leading into a dank darkness beneath. Harry moved rapidly down the stairs and Draco followed, although a bit more cautiously. They gained flooring at the bottom but there was no way to see where they were. Harry tugged on Draco's hand pulling him downward to the floor.
Draco felt Harry lie down and he understood they were to sleep. The basement room was rather warm, but their clothes were still damp. Draco pulled off his robe and laying beside Harry he covered them with it. If the escape was going to work, neither of them could afford to get the cold sickness Harry had endured.
Draco's body relaxed into the ground and he noted that most of his earlier anxiety had fled. He vaguely wondered why a feeling of safety seemed to have come over him in the dank darkness that surrounded them; the circumstances certainly didn't call for it.